In 2013, Swisscom & Samsung decided to launch Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone in Switzerland. The product had a unique eye-tracking technology by which the phone knows when you are looking at it. The company designed a promotional strategy around this technology where in people were invited to stare at the phone for 60 minutes and if they win they can walk away with the new S4. However, in those 60 minutes the team will try and distract the person away from the smartphone. The whole event was streamed live to a special microsite and a series of live banners on all the major Swiss websites. A video of the event went viral on YouTube, bringing millions more eyes on the S4 from around the world. This marketing activity, which helped to increase the product sales of S4, was derived from the concept of Gamification.
The idea of gamification- challenge, motivation, reward- has been present in our society right from ancient board games to the new age video games. People derive fulfillment from playing games & competing among peers. Marketing Gamification is a process of integrating the gaming mechanics in the marketing activities to make them more fun & engaging. A game offering right incentives and returns can help create breakthrough engagement with the audience.
According to the report by Gartner, more than 70% of the world’s largest 2000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014.
With the increasing awareness of Gamification and realization of potential of the same, game play is now evolving into a marketing movement. This trend is altering the way marketers are now interacting to their consumers.
Nesquik’s use of games to promote their chocolate milk among elementary & middle school children around 2006 is a great example of increasing engagement with gaming. Nesquik created a small charming game called Nesquik Quest and also an elaborate adventure game.The goal was to achieve the most perfect glass of Nesquik chocolate milk by going through the whole landscape in order to find the correct ingredients. This game made the rounds among school students very entertaining without them being consciously aware of the fact that the whole game was an elaborate advertisement. These children were indeed Nesquik’s target audience and if they associate with the drink as “tasty & fun” they can influence the parents to buy it for them. This fulfills Nesquik’s goals.
Gamification is a great engagement strategy as it delightfully distracts the audience from the fact that they are being advertised to. People tend to spend more time with the game because they feel that it’s for their entertainment and in the process they are exposed to other elements of the brand too.
The games also tend to increase word of mouth promotions for the brand, as people tend to share their gaming experience among the peer groups. This increases the reliability of the brand. Also, games easily create brand advocates who might share the content on social media networks.
With the advent of mobile technology, gamification is offering plethora of new opportunities. A person carrying smartphone can be exposed to a gamified experience at any time, wherever they are. One of the most successful examples of mobile gamification is Foursquare, which launched a location based mobile game where in the user is supposed to give away their location when they are visiting a restaurant, a coffee shop, a garment store etc. and in return they get badges and experience points which help then earn discounts at places they usually visit. This application, which was previously perceived as invasion to privacy, has turned into a game which benefits both the giver and the seeker.
Gamification also deepens the brand impression on the user. It is easy to remember someone you have met & interacted with than someone you have just seen or heard about. Game in this context is that means of interaction.
In sum, marketing gamification can be used as a tactic to increase consumer engagement with the brand through entertainment & rewards.
This blog post is written by AJITA SWAROOP, Associate Insight Consultant – Insight Mining, Brandscapes Worldwide. Ajita has been with Brandscapes for 3 years and has worked on several analytical projects for renowned brands. Besides this she is also a animal lover and an avid reader of Mythology & Medieval History.